In the inaugural season of the 16-year-old Prep Division of Connecticut Babe Ruth Baseball, the Newtown 16U team traveled to North Haven and captured the state championship on Saturday, July 26 by beating Fairfield in the semifinals and North Haven in the finals.
Newtown crushed Fairfield 12-1 in a game that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule. Luke Rustici pitched a complete game, four-hitter; Jared Brady had three hits including a double and had four runs batted in; and Chris Calo had three hits and two RBI.
In the championship game, Newtown beat North Haven 4-2. Connor Miller was superb on the mound, pitching all seven innings. Miller allowed only one earned run while striking out eight, including the last two batters of the game.
“It was an unbelievable game. The energy was crazy,” Miller said. “We never lost focus on winning.”
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Andy Braun came through with a clutch single to drive in the winning run. Brady had two hits and scored two runs, Mason Melillo had two hits and scored a run, and Austin Dignan had a hit and scored a run.
The Newtown team played a mixed schedule of 16U and 18U games and finished with a record of 13-3.
“I have coached many of these boys since they started playing at 6 years old. They could have left Newtown to play on a different team. Yet they stuck it out and it paid off in the end. I am very proud of them,” Newtown Coach Ed Brady said.